November 11, 2019
Philip Thompson and Lorenzo Montanari have compiled a Trade Barrier Index, just released by the Property Rights Alliance. The U.S. currently ranks 54th out of 86 countries. Singapore and Hong Kong rank 1st and 2nd, while India and China bring up the rear at 85th and 86th, respectively.
November 8, 2019
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on November 4th that, “Today the United States began the process to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. Per the terms of the Agreement, the United States submitted formal notification of its withdrawal to the United Nations. The withdrawal will take effect one year from delivery of the notification.”
November 7, 2019
America’s trade policy landscape has some big events on the horizon. The House of Representatives will vote next week on Rep. Maxine Waters’ (D-CA) Export-Import Bank reauthorization bill. The Trump administration has signaled opposition to it, making it unlikely to become law. The administration favors Ex-Im renewal, but likely wants it to be more bellicose towards China.
November 5, 2019
Healthcare costs remain top of mind in American politics. Polls consistently show that healthcare is one of, if not the top, priority for voters heading into the 2020 election cycle. Politicians and other policymakers face a looming crisis with healthcare expenditures. Medicare and Medicaid, the federal single-payer programs for the elderly and indigent, comprised over a quarter of all federal spending in 2018. This share is rising.
October 25, 2019
Just when I thought the Trump administration could not get any bolder in challenging California’s self-anointed power to determine national climate policy, the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday filed a constitutional challenge to the state’s greenhouse gas emission trading pacts with the Canadian provinces of Québec and Nova Scotia.
October 18, 2019
Our friends over at the Cato Institute are known for their excellent free-market analysis, in particular on hot button issues like trade. They recently released a great short video to drive home the actual incidence of bad policy: “How Does the Trade War Hurt You?”
October 3, 2019
The Trump administration has announced tariffs on $7.5 billion of goods from the European Union. This time, it is being done with the World Trade Organization’s blessing. Here is what is different about these tariffs—and what isn’t.
September 23, 2019
For all its flaws, the Export-Import Bank’s charter gets an important thing right: the agency must be reauthorized every few years, or it will close. This makes Ex-Im an important case study in institutional design. Its reauthorization requirement should be applied to nearly every government agency. Reauthorization offers regularly scheduled opportunities for Congress to enact possible reforms, or close an agency entirely. It also adds a level of democratic accountability to agencies that mostly lack it.
September 20, 2019
The Export-Import Bank’s charter is currently set to expire on September 30. If authorization lapses, the agency will shut down. On Thursday, the House passed a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government through November 21—specifically including Ex-Im. The Senate will likely pass it next week. This means the Ex-Im fight could drag on for an additional seven weeks, and possibly longer.
September 19, 2019
Nobel laureate economist Ronald Coase wrote in his 1975 essay “Economists and Public Policy” that “An economist who, by his efforts, is able to postpone by a week a government program which wastes $100 million a year (which I would call a modest success) has, by his action, earned his salary for the whole of his life.” By Coase’s measure, the Ex-Im fight that began in 2014 was an enormous success, despite the coming reauthorization setback.